News Big changes coming to EPCOT's Future World?

MisterPenguin

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Premium Member
Wait… have you been? You can’t “continue onto World Showcase,” there’s no path forward past SSE. And your description neglects to mention the difficulties of doing something crazy, like going from one side of Future World to the other. Even walking from Test Track to SSE is much, much less convenient. EPCOT is already Orlando’s most sprawling park, and this exacerbates the issue immensely. Not to mention the staggering aesthetic impact on the entire park.
Yes, I've been.

When you go left or right you wind up going past The Seas or Space, from which you can continue onto World Showcase. Exactly as I said.

If you want to redefine "going left or right past SSE" as in "crawling along its walls," well, then, you have a point.

But, when you go through the tapstile and head toward The Seas, you're going right, passing SSE. Just as I said.

Love how you then throw in the aesthetic parts as if I said it was aesthetically pleasing. I wish you and your Straw Man all the best in the world!
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
Wait… have you been? You can’t “continue onto World Showcase,” there’s no path forward past SSE. And your description neglects to mention the difficulties of doing something crazy, like going from one side of Future World to the other. Even walking from Test Track to SSE is much, much less convenient. EPCOT is already Orlando’s most sprawling park, and this exacerbates the issue immensely. Not to mention the staggering aesthetic impact on the entire park.
its not really as bad as you make it sound. Yes it looks bad but the park needed work and this was inevitable. We can debate the quality or direction of the finished product but the process to get us there was necessary. You can still get around and signage is abundant to direct guests.

Clearly you don’t remember how awful future world construction was in parts of 1999. This honestly pales in comparison to how bad that was.
 

castlecake2.0

Well-Known Member
Before: A diverging path around SSE that re-merged forcing you into the center of the hub before you can go left or right or continue onto World Showcase.

Now (temporarily): A diverging path around SSE that lets one go immediately to the left or right or continue onto to World Showcase.


I can certainly see how that would make people so angry at the inconvenience.
The right side isn’t too bad, the left though is definitely a large detour. Also wish they would attach more signs explaining what’s happening here and that his isn’t what the park usually looks like.
 

MisterPenguin

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Premium Member
The right side isn’t too bad, the left though is definitely a large detour. Also wish they would attach more signs explaining what’s happening here and that his isn’t what the park usually looks like.
With opening up the side shortcuts to East and West 'Future World', there are winners and losers in the various pathings.

One of the worst was having to go all the way around Communicore NE and NW to get to The Seas or UoE. (Yeah, I know that was the plan, but when they concreted over the hub... it never looked like a good plan to me).

New Electric Umbrella should open up in a few months making traversing the old hub on the West side passable.
 

Epcot82Guy

Well-Known Member
Given the timeline that is not happening, I think there is a valid criticism this was managed very poorly. Obviously, there are factors that were not anticipated and most of which are outside their control. But ripping up the whole center vs phasing this is and was, in hindsight, a mistake. And I think that will be made worse by the necessary changes and budget cuts that may render the new designs different than the original mistakes... I mean plans. It is more of a mess today than is needed - especially East.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
It is shocking that they didn’t even leave an avenue across the center of the park. The omnipresent walls really are oppressive - they press in from all sides and block the horizon. Coming around UoE towards guest services you get a nice glimpse of barb wire fence - great show. Any renovation that required this kind of mangling of the park should never have been greenlit, or at worst, completed in chunks.

And the best part is this is all for no real benefit. Even Disney doesn’t seem to know what they’re building anymore, but it won’t be a ride or show or even an interesting restaurant. They need to open the center up NOW, even if that means putting in place a lot of temporary infrastructure, or they need to decide what they’re doing and build at a furious pace.
I can forgive them for undertaking something of this scale. Whatever the benefits or otherwise of what they have planned in this instance, a good case can be made that it could be necessary and worth dealing with some bad show and inconvenience in the short term to rework the centre of the park on a grand scale rather than in a piecemeal fashion and not solving underlying issues.

What really bothers me is how slowly they are doing this, which is less like ripping off a bandaid than slowly peeling it back to cause maximum discomfort. Sure, Disney construction projects are always slow. This one, though, massively impacts the guest experience and involves fencing off and tearing up the entire centre of the park. That they have just slowly plodded along without demonstrating any concern for even opening up pathways and making navigation easier gives off an air of disdain for their guests who will just have to deal with it as Disney works to their own timetable dictated by quarterly reports.
 
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danlb_2000

Premium Member
I'm curious whats up with the names. Do you think they just pick whatever building is closest to the work location? Its theoretically possible that there is a Utilidor entrance where Pasta Piazza was that they're shoring up the foundations on, but the fountain control bldg was one of the first things to go and I think thats roughly where the popcorn stand is now. Or maybe just nothing.

The permit has to have an address, so it's common to use the address of whatever was in that area. The foundations one is in this area and I don't see a Utilidor entrance there.

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FerretAfros

Well-Known Member
Clearly you don’t remember how awful future world construction was in parts of 1999. This honestly pales in comparison to how bad that was.
While it's not unusual for construction projects to have big impacts on the parks for a short time, or small impacts for a long time, this project is different in that it has big impacts that have lasted (and will continue to last) a very long time.

As a point of comparison, construction for DCA's big redo stretched from fall 2008 until summer 2012, but the major impacts in any given area were much smaller, mostly lasting somewhere between a few weeks and a few months. The walls were constantly shifting, minimizing the impacts at any one time. Individual projects were completed independently of one another (and quickly!) to ensure that an adequate number of facilities and circulation was left open at all times. It meant that many things had actually opened prior to the big splashy relaunch party, but it made the park a lot more tolerable while it was all going on. In some ways, it even built the anticipation of the finished product, as little bits and pieces of it were revealed over time.

The longest construction in a single location within the park was the World of Color installation and Little Mermaid construction, which started in early 2009 and opened in summer 2010 (though construction was mostly complete in early winter 2010) and winter 2011, respectively. There was a short stretch (about 6 weeks) when the area between the Mermaid building and WOC viewing area was closed completely for new pavement, but the area was mostly kept open with a corridor of walls for guests to pass through.
wallstreet_fromfunwheel2009ww.jpg


Additionally, only Golden Dreams, a sparsely-attended film attraction that showed to a couple dozen guests per hour, was "lost"
from this area during construction; there were no other facilities (attractions, merchandise, food, restrooms, meet & greets, etc.) displaced by it. While it was a relatively big construction site that impacted views and general ambiance, the impact to park operations was actually quite small during that period.

The biggest impact to park operations was the closure of the Sunshine Plaza for its transformation into Buena Vista Street, when guests entering the park were routed backstage behind Soarin' and guests exiting the park were dumped into Downtown Disney. Additional paths were added throughout the park (most notably, connecting a bug's land to Tower of Terror) to provide alternate circulation and access. Countless ODV kiosks were sprinkled around any quiet corner to make up for the lost merchandise capacity, and distribute crowds away from the construction. This period lasted from late August 2011 to early June 2012, well under a year, and intentionally chosen to cover the periods of the year with the lowest attendance. It was also scheduled to occur after WOC opened, to give guests a reason to deal with the headache of getting into the park (but not while it was brand new), since it was feared attendance would disappear if the entrance was closed before anything new opened. It was a heavy impact, but it was over fairly quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.

Now compare this to the current project a Epcot, where the wide-scale impacts of this project have been massive and long lasting. Walls went up around Innoventions East and the Fountain of Nations in September of 2019; it's now October of 2021, and there's no indication that area will be open to the public any time soon, or that Disney even knows what they're building there. Numerous facilities in that area have been removed with no replacement, in a park that lacks alternate options with available excess capacity, and park circulation has been severely impacted by the lack of access across Future World. Only a few weeks ago did Ratatouille and Harmonious open, as some sort of enticement to partly offset the dire state of the front half of the park.

This is all compounded by the fact that it's not even clear whether the final product will replace all of the lost uses that were in the (already partly-abandoned) buildings prior to the project starting. It was always clear that DCA's redo was going to be an unobjectionable improvement. At best, Epcot seems to be returning to its original form, but with fewer things to do than before. I'm sure the open spaces will have lovely landscaping, but is that really enough to justify all the trouble of years of construction? Is it even enough to justify the ticket price to enter the park once everything is complete?

It's not that a little discomfort isn't expected or allowable during construction. The problem is the size and duration of the impacts to the park, and the lack of meaningful mitigation to make the guest experience a little more bearable during that time.
Before: A diverging path around SSE that re-merged forcing you into the center of the hub before you can go left or right or continue onto World Showcase.

Now (temporarily): A diverging path around SSE that lets one go immediately to the left or right or continue onto to World Showcase.


I can certainly see how that would make people so angry at the inconvenience.
If one of the best things to come of this overhaul project is the temporary convenience created by a detour, that's quite an indictment of the final product. It's only more convenient for a couple (unpopular) items, and the loss of access directly across (either north-south or east-west) more than offsets any benefits gained by this setup.

However, if there are going to be ongoing disruptions to the guest experience, these paths are a great example of the sort of temporary infrastructure that makes it more tolerable. They're not going to be around once the project is done, but they make the park a much more liveable place in the meantime. If only more of these paths could be provided throughout Future World, even if they're constantly changing and shifting every few weeks or months, then maybe these ongoing impacts wouldn't seem quite so bad.

Instead, we've got all the pain of ripping the band-aid of quickly, while still taking just as long as going one hair at a time.
 

comics101

Well-Known Member

Probably a long shot/wishful thinking, but does anyone else hope that whatever takes the place of the scrapped Festivals Center 'table' might at least retain the shape of CC/Innoventions West? My biggest problem with the direction Disney took the center of EPCOT is the asymmetry; the park feels off because of it, and it's not just because the project isn't completed.
 

Lands of Wonder

Well-Known Member
You know what’s sad, they demolished the Fountain of Nations and an entire building when they could have been renovating what they had into the festival center and possibly done refurbishing the Fountain of Nations. This is like the Spaceship Earth story, financial difficulties came along and the entire ending of the ride was just a screen show and still is. They should have just renovated.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
While it's not unusual for construction projects to have big impacts on the parks for a short time, or small impacts for a long time, this project is different in that it has big impacts that have lasted (and will continue to last) a very long time.

As a point of comparison, construction for DCA's big redo stretched from fall 2008 until summer 2012, but the major impacts in any given area were much smaller, mostly lasting somewhere between a few weeks and a few months. The walls were constantly shifting, minimizing the impacts at any one time. Individual projects were completed independently of one another (and quickly!) to ensure that an adequate number of facilities and circulation was left open at all times. It meant that many things had actually opened prior to the big splashy relaunch party, but it made the park a lot more tolerable while it was all going on. In some ways, it even built the anticipation of the finished product, as little bits and pieces of it were revealed over time.

The longest construction in a single location within the park was the World of Color installation and Little Mermaid construction, which started in early 2009 and opened in summer 2010 (though construction was mostly complete in early winter 2010) and winter 2011, respectively. There was a short stretch (about 6 weeks) when the area between the Mermaid building and WOC viewing area was closed completely for new pavement, but the area was mostly kept open with a corridor of walls for guests to pass through.
wallstreet_fromfunwheel2009ww.jpg


Additionally, only Golden Dreams, a sparsely-attended film attraction that showed to a couple dozen guests per hour, was "lost"
from this area during construction; there were no other facilities (attractions, merchandise, food, restrooms, meet & greets, etc.) displaced by it. While it was a relatively big construction site that impacted views and general ambiance, the impact to park operations was actually quite small during that period.

The biggest impact to park operations was the closure of the Sunshine Plaza for its transformation into Buena Vista Street, when guests entering the park were routed backstage behind Soarin' and guests exiting the park were dumped into Downtown Disney. Additional paths were added throughout the park (most notably, connecting a bug's land to Tower of Terror) to provide alternate circulation and access. Countless ODV kiosks were sprinkled around any quiet corner to make up for the lost merchandise capacity, and distribute crowds away from the construction. This period lasted from late August 2011 to early June 2012, well under a year, and intentionally chosen to cover the periods of the year with the lowest attendance. It was also scheduled to occur after WOC opened, to give guests a reason to deal with the headache of getting into the park (but not while it was brand new), since it was feared attendance would disappear if the entrance was closed before anything new opened. It was a heavy impact, but it was over fairly quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.

Now compare this to the current project a Epcot, where the wide-scale impacts of this project have been massive and long lasting. Walls went up around Innoventions East and the Fountain of Nations in September of 2019; it's now October of 2021, and there's no indication that area will be open to the public any time soon, or that Disney even knows what they're building there. Numerous facilities in that area have been removed with no replacement, in a park that lacks alternate options with available excess capacity, and park circulation has been severely impacted by the lack of access across Future World. Only a few weeks ago did Ratatouille and Harmonious open, as some sort of enticement to partly offset the dire state of the front half of the park.

This is all compounded by the fact that it's not even clear whether the final product will replace all of the lost uses that were in the (already partly-abandoned) buildings prior to the project starting. It was always clear that DCA's redo was going to be an unobjectionable improvement. At best, Epcot seems to be returning to its original form, but with fewer things to do than before. I'm sure the open spaces will have lovely landscaping, but is that really enough to justify all the trouble of years of construction? Is it even enough to justify the ticket price to enter the park once everything is complete?

It's not that a little discomfort isn't expected or allowable during construction. The problem is the size and duration of the impacts to the park, and the lack of meaningful mitigation to make the guest experience a little more bearable during that time.

If one of the best things to come of this overhaul project is the temporary convenience created by a detour, that's quite an indictment of the final product. It's only more convenient for a couple (unpopular) items, and the loss of access directly across (either north-south or east-west) more than offsets any benefits gained by this setup.

However, if there are going to be ongoing disruptions to the guest experience, these paths are a great example of the sort of temporary infrastructure that makes it more tolerable. They're not going to be around once the project is done, but they make the park a much more liveable place in the meantime. If only more of these paths could be provided throughout Future World, even if they're constantly changing and shifting every few weeks or months, then maybe these ongoing impacts wouldn't seem quite so bad.

Instead, we've got all the pain of ripping the band-aid of quickly, while still taking just as long as going one hair at a time.
100%!

The contrast with the DCA redo is stark. As you say, in that case a huge amount of planning went into minimising the impact of the construction on the guest experience in part by minimising the time each area would be impacted. At Epcot, they just seem to have shrugged and decided they'll be finished when they're finished.

In the meantime, guests can amuse themselves by watching piles of dirt being slowly pushed around, built up, and then broken down each week from the monorail.
 
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fgmnt

Well-Known Member
I think the fact that there is no known exit ramp to get out of the fiasco resulting from the cancellation of the giant barstool is worthy of criticism. Is there any reason to believe the hub will be open by 10/1/22?
 

MisterPenguin

🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧Fully Pfizered!🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧
Premium Member
Now compare this to the current project a Epcot, where the wide-scale impacts of this project have been massive and long lasting. Walls went up around Innoventions East and the Fountain of Nations in September of 2019; it's now October of 2021, and there's no indication that area will be open to the public any time soon, or that Disney even knows what they're building there. Numerous facilities in that area have been removed with no replacement, in a park that lacks alternate options with available excess capacity, and park circulation has been severely impacted by the lack of access across Future World. Only a few weeks ago did Ratatouille and Harmonious open, as some sort of enticement to partly offset the dire state of the front half of the park.

This is all compounded by the fact that it's not even clear whether the final product will replace all of the lost uses that were in the (already partly-abandoned) buildings prior to the project starting. It was always clear that DCA's redo was going to be an unobjectionable improvement. At best, Epcot seems to be returning to its original form, but with fewer things to do than before. I'm sure the open spaces will have lovely landscaping, but is that really enough to justify all the trouble of years of construction? Is it even enough to justify the ticket price to enter the park once everything is complete?

It's not that a little discomfort isn't expected or allowable during construction. The problem is the size and duration of the impacts to the park, and the lack of meaningful mitigation to make the guest experience a little more bearable during that time.

Now imagine if there was also a world wide pandemic happening at the same time!!

;)
 

Walt d

Well-Known Member
I recently saw Tom Fitzgerald and another Imagineer walking around Future World pointing out different locations and what appeared to be discussions about making changes. Obviously there was talk a few months ago about Epcot getting an influx of cash that had been approved by the board of directors. Just found it interesting and hopefully we'll hear something in the near future about updates coming to EPCOT.
Oh” finally Kelly Slater wave pool this is great can’t wait to go surfing!!!!
 

peter11435

Well-Known Member
While it's not unusual for construction projects to have big impacts on the parks for a short time, or small impacts for a long time, this project is different in that it has big impacts that have lasted (and will continue to last) a very long time.

As a point of comparison, construction for DCA's big redo stretched from fall 2008 until summer 2012, but the major impacts in any given area were much smaller, mostly lasting somewhere between a few weeks and a few months. The walls were constantly shifting, minimizing the impacts at any one time. Individual projects were completed independently of one another (and quickly!) to ensure that an adequate number of facilities and circulation was left open at all times. It meant that many things had actually opened prior to the big splashy relaunch party, but it made the park a lot more tolerable while it was all going on. In some ways, it even built the anticipation of the finished product, as little bits and pieces of it were revealed over time.

The longest construction in a single location within the park was the World of Color installation and Little Mermaid construction, which started in early 2009 and opened in summer 2010 (though construction was mostly complete in early winter 2010) and winter 2011, respectively. There was a short stretch (about 6 weeks) when the area between the Mermaid building and WOC viewing area was closed completely for new pavement, but the area was mostly kept open with a corridor of walls for guests to pass through.
wallstreet_fromfunwheel2009ww.jpg


Additionally, only Golden Dreams, a sparsely-attended film attraction that showed to a couple dozen guests per hour, was "lost"
from this area during construction; there were no other facilities (attractions, merchandise, food, restrooms, meet & greets, etc.) displaced by it. While it was a relatively big construction site that impacted views and general ambiance, the impact to park operations was actually quite small during that period.

The biggest impact to park operations was the closure of the Sunshine Plaza for its transformation into Buena Vista Street, when guests entering the park were routed backstage behind Soarin' and guests exiting the park were dumped into Downtown Disney. Additional paths were added throughout the park (most notably, connecting a bug's land to Tower of Terror) to provide alternate circulation and access. Countless ODV kiosks were sprinkled around any quiet corner to make up for the lost merchandise capacity, and distribute crowds away from the construction. This period lasted from late August 2011 to early June 2012, well under a year, and intentionally chosen to cover the periods of the year with the lowest attendance. It was also scheduled to occur after WOC opened, to give guests a reason to deal with the headache of getting into the park (but not while it was brand new), since it was feared attendance would disappear if the entrance was closed before anything new opened. It was a heavy impact, but it was over fairly quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.

Now compare this to the current project a Epcot, where the wide-scale impacts of this project have been massive and long lasting. Walls went up around Innoventions East and the Fountain of Nations in September of 2019; it's now October of 2021, and there's no indication that area will be open to the public any time soon, or that Disney even knows what they're building there. Numerous facilities in that area have been removed with no replacement, in a park that lacks alternate options with available excess capacity, and park circulation has been severely impacted by the lack of access across Future World. Only a few weeks ago did Ratatouille and Harmonious open, as some sort of enticement to partly offset the dire state of the front half of the park.

This is all compounded by the fact that it's not even clear whether the final product will replace all of the lost uses that were in the (already partly-abandoned) buildings prior to the project starting. It was always clear that DCA's redo was going to be an unobjectionable improvement. At best, Epcot seems to be returning to its original form, but with fewer things to do than before. I'm sure the open spaces will have lovely landscaping, but is that really enough to justify all the trouble of years of construction? Is it even enough to justify the ticket price to enter the park once everything is complete?

It's not that a little discomfort isn't expected or allowable during construction. The problem is the size and duration of the impacts to the park, and the lack of meaningful mitigation to make the guest experience a little more bearable during that time.

If one of the best things to come of this overhaul project is the temporary convenience created by a detour, that's quite an indictment of the final product. It's only more convenient for a couple (unpopular) items, and the loss of access directly across (either north-south or east-west) more than offsets any benefits gained by this setup.

However, if there are going to be ongoing disruptions to the guest experience, these paths are a great example of the sort of temporary infrastructure that makes it more tolerable. They're not going to be around once the project is done, but they make the park a much more liveable place in the meantime. If only more of these paths could be provided throughout Future World, even if they're constantly changing and shifting every few weeks or months, then maybe these ongoing impacts wouldn't seem quite so bad.

Instead, we've got all the pain of ripping the band-aid of quickly, while still taking just as long as going one hair at a time.
Yes…. But when this project was planned they didn’t anticipate a global pandemic. The closure of worldwide operations. A shutdown of all construction. Massive staffing challenges when construction would resume. And a global supply chain crisis delaying everything. Under the original plan the scale and length of this project would have been significantly different.

The DCA project would have had a much different impact if it was being accomplished in today’s climate too.
 

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